My journey to my 250th parkrun

parkrun 250 t-shirt

Tomorrow (all being well), I’ll finally run my 250th parkrun. It’s taken me a long time (nearly 8 years) and there has been a lot of change in that time. I’ve run 6 marathons, learnt to swim and completed two Half Ironmans. I’ve also had a baby 🙂

The beginning

parkrunning in October 2010

My first parkrun was at Eastleigh on 07/08/10. I had read about it in the local free paper and thought it might be a good way to help me train for a 10k charity run. I had only run a 5k once before (Race for Life), but I was determined that I would run the entire parkrun. It took me 31:46 to complete the run.

I ran at three different locations for Eastleigh parkrun: Lakeside, Wide Lane Sports Ground and Fleming Park. Lakeside will always have a special place in my heart. My PB for Eastleigh (25:08) was set at Fleming Park.

Run Directing

Winning the points competition at Eastleigh parkrun

I once won the points competition at Eastleigh… and then forced my own retirement from the competition by becoming a Run Director. I’ve been a Run Director at Eastleigh, Netley Abbey and Southampton and was also Event Director at Southampton. I was the Run Director at Southampton’s inaugural parkrun.

parkrun Tourism

parkrun gingerbread men

I’ve run at 23 different locations (and missed out on some parkrun tourism on the Isle of Wight because I didn’t know that it was at its alternative course). Internationally, I’ve done three different parkruns: three runs in Australia (at North Wollongong and Orange) and once in Denmark (Amager Faelled).

Stuart, Tamsyn and M at North Wollongong parkrun
Stuart, Tamsyn and M at North Wollongong parkrun

I’ve run 140 times at Southampton, 73 times at Eastleigh, 7 times at Penrose and 6 times at Netley Abbey.


parkrunning at Eastleigh with Stu

My PB at Southampton is 23:40, which I set almost exactly a year ago (on 6th May 2017). I’ve set 34 PBs, 17 of which were at Eastleigh. (Oh the joys of being a novice runner!) If I can beat 27:24 tomorrow at my 250th parkrun then that will be my fastest time for 2018.

Running whilst pregnant

Finishing parkrun with Kate (and Kim)
Finishing parkrun with Kate (and Kim)

I ran at Southampton parkrun throughout my pregnancy. I even ran on M’s due date and was delighted to finish in 30:56.

parkrun 14 Oct 17 Southampton parkrun with Stu and M


parkrun volunteer

I’ve officially volunteered 132 times (but I unofficially token sorted every week at Eastleigh for over a year… it was unofficial as I wanted my point for the points competition!)

Tamsyn holding up a gingerbread man iced with a 100 parkrun t-shirt
Celebrating my 100th parkrun

This year, I’ve become a parkrun ambassador in the hope that I can give back to a community that has given me so much.

That’s a rundown of my journey to my 250th parkrun – if you’re at Southampton parkrun tomorrow, please join me for cake!


3 Responses

  1. Congrats. You are a credit to the community, and the beating heart of parkrun. Look forward to reading about 500. It’s only a matter of time!

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